In today's New York Times, Joe Nocera discusses new gun safety technology and expresses exasperation about resistance from the firearms community. But really, what does he expect?
For nearly two months, my assistant, Jennifer Mascia, and I have been publishing a daily blog in which we aggregate articles about shootings from the previous day. Of all the stories we link to, the ones I find hardest to read are those about young children who accidentally shoot themselves or another child.Nocera talks to a Silicon Valley entrepreneur named Alan Boinus who thinks this acceptance will come:
... why can't we come up with a technology that would keep a gun from going off when it is being held by a child? Or, for that matter, by a thief using a stolen gun? Or an angry teenager who is plotting to use his parents' arsenal to wreak havoc in a mall?
It turns out -- why is this not a surprise? -- that such technologies already exist. A German company, Armartix, will soon be marketing a pistol that uses radio frequencies that prevent a gun from being used by anyone except its owner.... There are others who have invented similar technologies.
Why aren't these lifesaving technologies in widespread use? No surprise here, either: The usual irrational opposition from the National Rifle Association and gun absolutists, who claim, absurdly, that a gun that only can be fired by its owner somehow violates the Second Amendment....
"The market will prove this out," he said. "People want to be responsible. People want safety."I don't believe that. As far as I can tell, the gun community doesn't want safety and doesn't want to be responsible -- not if we gun-grabbing liberals are the ones who seem to be defining safety and responsibility.
And that seems to be the case:
Last week, there were two important meetings about gun personalization technology. On March 13, in Washington, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. met with several dozen advocates.... The purpose of the meeting was to get Holder up to speed on the technologies so he could make recommendations to President Obama.If gun control advocates want the gun community to embrace this concept, they should stop promoting it. Otherwise it's going to wind up like green energy: many right-leaning heartlanders will never, ever embrace alternatives to fossil fuels for their homes and cars, no matter how much they may hate many of the countries that sell us those fossil fuels, because alternative energy is hippie-liberal technology. So, yeah, Saudis, keep taking our money.
The following day, in San Francisco, Sandy Hook Promise, an organization founded by citizens of Newtown, Conn., publicly launched its "innovation initiative" in collaboration with some Silicon Valley venture capitalists and entrepreneurs....
The innovation initiative, which will make grants, and even award prize money for good ideas, includes an emphasis on gun personalization technology.
Same thing here. You'd think, if done right, that biometrics would fit beautifully with the notions of personal autonomy that fuel the gun culture. It's my gun! I bought it to protect my family! Therefore I get to program in the identities of those who can use it! Freedom!
But no -- we're the ones who want this. So I strongly suspect that they never will.